Prithivir Puroni Kotha (The Old World’s Tale)
Animal Farm – (1956)
Japani Xadhu (Tales of Japan)- Children book
Pokhir Dekhat Anjumoni (Anjumoni in the world of
Pohar aru Anandor Xadhu (The story of light and
Mahatama Baani (The speech of Mahatama)-
Prasin Bharatiya Xadhu- Translational Indian
Dilir Dukhoriya Sabi (1966)
Prathom Prem (Frist love) Translation- 1967)
Xagor Dekhilu (Saw the Sea), Travelogue- (1868)
R.C.C Ghor (Collection of Stories) (1969)
Bapu 1st ,2nd ,3rd
(Translated book for children) (1970)
Asta Tora (Fallen Star) –Fiction – (1970)
Surajmukhi (Sunflower)- Travelogue- (1971)
Tamil Kahini (Tamil Stories)- Translation (1971)
Kaliya Paani (Black Water)- Translation of an
Gujrati novel – (1972)
Pandumaar Sagalijoni (The Goat of Pandumaa)(1974)
Khaurah Tumar Buwati Pani –Translation of an
Gujrati novel- (1976)
Xadhu, Xadhu, Xadhu (story, Story, Story) (1984)
Hem Baruah : Mor Sinaki Manuhjon (Hem Baruah: The
person know to me) (1984)
Karnamojee (Short Story)- Unpublished
Of these, twelve are original compositions. It is
not possible to discuss in detail all the books written by the writer.
Therefore, I have tried to provide a brief account of some of her
Dilir Dukhoriya Sabi (A Potrait of Delhi):
The book ‘Dilir Dukhoriya Sabi’, Published in 1966
is an original work. It had become so popular at that time, that
people who had not been to Delhi, desired to take a view of Delhi
after reading this book. The details of the historic city of Delhi,
flourishing with the relics of Mughal Dynasty, their palaces and
buildings, and its history can be found in many books. Mrs. Baruah has
not written anything about the Moguls or the palaces, memorials,
constructed by them. Neither has she mentioned about the glorious
history of the city. She has written about the innumerable people-
high and low, settled in the city. She has portrayed the hardship
struggle of the poor, deprived people in order to survive in the city.
It talks about the rickshaw puller who struggles and works hard
dreaming of the bright future of his son. It provides a microscopic
view of the life of the iron-man, office clerk, and bottle seller, rag
pickers and people who collect old news papers, laborers, working on
daily basis, orchestra- man of marriages, decorates, the boy who clean
motors cars, taxi drivers, Harijons etc. and miscellaneous group of
people associated with various professions, and the honesty and
truthfulness inherent in them. Further, it gives a simplified account
of the transport system in Delhi. In addition, it describes the inside
view of red Fort amidst the varying sketches. The description of
‘echo’ and ‘light’ is so lively that one can feel resting on the green
grass carpet in the ‘Diwan-e- Khas’ inside Red Fort.
On reading the articles written on Reverend Ex-
President Radhakrishnan and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru entitled ‘A
Interview with President Radhakrishnan’, ‘Nehru : Dairy of a day’ and
Nehru " the Remnants of Memory’, one can have a clear idea of the
life, personality and works of these great persons. We are always
curious to know the minute details of the day life of these great
people and it gives us food for thought. The subject matter and
narrative style is so adroitly done that one cannot keep the book
unless it is finished.
Xagor Dekhilu (I saw the sea):
This travelogue was written in 1967 when the author
returned from foreign tour with her husband, and was published in
1968. ‘Xagor Dekhilu’--- though it is a travelogue, it is interesting
like a novel, and enlightening like a history book. In describing the
tour to London and Paris, she has faithfully represented the ‘Boby’.
Due to this association, the London cops came to be addressed as ‘Boby’.
Rumours abound that London police are not very happy when addressed as
While describing the birthplace of Shakespeare, she
also elaborates on his plays, hero and heroines, to form an elementary
idea of them. One also acquires an idea of the theatrical arts of the
time. The historical details and the physical beauty of the place are
The description of Wordsworth’s birth place is done
in such a lively and animated style that one has the feeling of
reading a beautiful poem. The home of Wordsworth ‘Dove Cottage’ called
‘Kapau- Kuti’ and gives an acute description of house. Words worth’s
started living in this cottage in Grasmere in 1799 with his sister
‘The Ode to Humanity’, ‘Daffodils’, ‘Excursion’,
were composed from this cottage the first copy of these poems are
still preserved in this cottage. The manuscript thrown by Wordsworth
into the waste paper basket was preserved by his sister Dorothy.
Today, the manuscript is beautifully framed in a glass, and put up for
display- these details are vividly described by the author so that the
sight of the cottage becomes alive before the eyes of the reader.
While describing the things used by the poet, in one of the places she
writes: "I have seen a fire place. The fire place was just like the
one in our village. Even a kettle was hung, this saying is ordinary.
But it is written in such a manner that one sees the picture of the
day-to-day domestic life, and the things required for our daily
purposes. In this way, she narrates the background of Worth worth’s
While writing about Paris and Geneva, she
elaborates on the famous buildings such as Napoleon’s Memorial, the
beautiful palace of Pele de Versay, and provided an eye-catching view
of the mesmerizing natural beauty of Geneva. Along with it she also
describes the beauty of Paris city at night.
Mrs. Baruah states that travel and tours ‘give
knowledge’, to man like a book. I feel that after reading ‘Xagor
Dekhilu’, one can feel the thrill and gain knowledge as one would feel
traveling to a place.
The beautiful journeys to Taiwan and Hong Kong are
recorded in ‘Surjamukhi’. "Taiwan" city is situated at the heart of
Pacific Ocean. The Portuguese Sailors, in the past, named it ‘Formosa’
in 1583. It means ‘Beautiful Island’. The Present name ‘Taiwan’ is a
modern invention. While describing the Island as like a leave of a
tobacco as, she provides detail about the geography, physical nature
of the land, and also mentions thee culture, language, of the place.
Apart from them, there is captivating description of Tai Pe city, Silo
city, the flowers-garden lake city, etc as well as its economic-
political life also. The description is loaded with minute details.
There are descriptions of Taiwanese tribes and the female taxi-driver:
Talking about their education system, she writes –there are 75
colleges, and 10 universities in Taiwan. Fourteen colleges also
provide an opportunity to the students to attain degrees. Further
writes - "this nation is also not free from encountering problems of
Brain Drain’. Many Chinese students settled down permanently in abroad
after receiving education. Again from a women’s perspective, she
writes of the dress- costumes of Chinese ladies- ‘Mini skirts are
popular among the young, unmarried girls. The instance of being
thrilled at the sight of ‘Assam Tea’ in Evergreen Hotel has come out
very fluently from the pen of Mrs. Baruah. While describing the city
of Hongkong her writes-‘Some people call ‘Hongkong’ a pearl stone. I
felt as if this pearl was dropped from the necklace of an angel’.
Due to this simple and lucid style, ‘Surjyamukhi’
has become an attractive piece of work.
Astatara: (Fallen Star):
‘Asta tora’ is the only fiction written by Mrs. Anu
Borah. Written in the backdrop of a village life, it is a story of
story of some of some young boys and girls exploited by the wealthy
class. At the end, the girl, unable to recourse, commits suicide.
Although the sounds familiar to the actual
happenings, the acute detail of village has increased the pathos of
the story. The book published in 1970 is obviously worth-reading and
Apart from these, there are two short story
collections- ‘Archi Ghar and ‘Karunamoyee" by the graciously embraced
by the public. The second collection was published in 1969 which was
graciously embraced by the public. The second collection ‘Karunamayee’
has not found publication till now. Another book ‘Nanda Talukdar" is
also unpublished. The children story collection- "Pakhir Dekhot
Anujumoni" (1964). ‘Xadhu, Xadhu, Xadhu’ (1984), ‘Prasin Bharatiya
Xadhu’ (1965), etc have been acclaimed all over by the reading public.
Subsequently, the ten volumes of Assamese literature.
The factors responsible for grafting Mrs Anu Baruah
into a talented writer are her studious nature and deep thinking. Her
husband’s encouragement, inspiration, guidance and help are worth-
mentioning in this regard. Similarly, Mrs. Anu Baruah was always at
her husband’s success and achievement.
In the domestic sphere Mrs. Baruah was a dedicated
housewife, a devoted wife and a doting mother. To her husband, she was
an ideal wife, a source of his strength and inspiration. Mr. Baruah
spent some 14 years in Delhi during his tenure as an MP, facilitating
the zeal of Mrs. Baruah to explore new literary avenues.
A husband like Hem Baruah who has proved his
supremacy in politics, literature, and social service and in every
field, two sons studying at Saint Columbus School and Saint Stephen’s
College, respectively, attributed to the peaceful family life of Mrs.
Baruah. The house which had a congenial atmosphere for literary
discussions became the centre of discussion of healthy politics. The
house echoed the marry voices of prominent politicians and
literatures, a house which became place of refuge and shelter parental
affection and guidance from Baruah couple.
Suddenly, a terrible storm blew away the peace and
tranquility of this house. Their peaceful normal life hand comes to a
halt. Hem Baruah was defeated in the 1961 elections. A towering figure
like Hem Baruah was disheartened and broken; not because he suffered
defeat but due to the political nasty games, false blames. Unhitches
and unfazed, Mrs. Anu Baruah stood by her husband like a pillar of
strength they had to come back to Assam. Mrs. Anu Baruah was stuck for
a while before vacating the government quarter. Where will she take
her sons who are till students? Where will she live them? The husband,
under the shade of whose care and strength they had been growing
steadily, was now falling weak mentally and physically. Mrs. Anu
Baruah did not become depressed. She kept her heart firm. She would
have to restore her husband lost physical and mental strength. She
took the fading help of life under her control. But what about
economic security? Nobody paid any attention to this side all this
while. They spent their days in serving the nation, people and
literature. Anu Baruah started thinking seriously to remove her
husbands’ anxiety; she wiped away tears and became strong. Studying in
D.U, her elder son Tu- Mon was one month- away from M.A Previous Exam,
she said to him "Better to appear in Tea Estate interview rather than
sitting for exam. The son agreed without a single word. How
heartrending it is for parents to deter a bright and brilliant student
full of potentialities from pursuing education farther, and send him
for service! Still she had to conceal her tears, and ask the son to do
so. She said that he would have to prepare for the uncertain future.
In order to keep intact the golden dreams of the past, he would have
to come down to the battle- field of life.
Her heart, once again, was overtaken by fear. What
if she has to ask the younger son, Anjan a student of B.Sc. final
year, to stop education! It did not happen. With God’s Grace, they
could arrange for Anjan’s remaining education. The Baruah couple
returned to Assam. After they settled down in their own residence in
the north Guwahati in 1971, a mild change came to the health of Mr.
Baruah. The elder son joined the tea estate. The younger son passed
the B.Sc final year in the class. Once again, peace came to well in
their house. Rat the request of the management of newspaper ‘Assam
Express’, Mr. Baruah took charge as its editor. They passed the year
1971-72 in their usual round of tours, reading and writing. The shadow
of misfortune fell once again. Destiny was bent on talking their test.
Mr. Baruah’s health deteriorated. Mrs. Baruah took him to Delhi for
treatment. She admitted her husband in All India Medical Institute
with utmost patience. She stayed with him like a shadow. She proved
herself to be a source of sacrifice and strength to her mentally
broken husband. The entire year of 1974, at the advice of doctor, Mrs.
Barah took the responsibilities of Mrs. Baruah’s regular excises and
walking, She performed her duties regularly with unflinching faith and
unwavering hope. But time has its own pace. From 1974, Mrs. Baruah
herself fell ill. She suffered terribly under severe body ache. Her
condition became so worse that the strong willed Anu Baruah became
helpless. Probably, God did not listen to her prayers. The epitome of
unusual liveliness and joy, always Jovialan image of determination,
the Baruah couple were mutilated by the cruel hands of time. Their
hands and feet had become feeble and inactive; both of them spent
their days lying on separate beds with some dreams in their eyes. The
poem of their life cried in a sad voice. From her bed, Mrs. Baruah
kept a watch over her husband’s health. With the help of some boys who
came forward to help, she tried to sustain her family. The guests were
honored and received with her smile. At that time, their two sons were
busy in shaping their professional life.
It was not easy for Mrs. Baruah to come out of the
calamity of hard times. When she managed to just walk with some
support, her husband’s mother visited them. Immediately after this,
her mother-in-law died in Jorhat. The news engraved her deeply but she
summoned courage to reveal it to her husband. Thus affected with
physical and mental break down, she had become upset but never
depressed. In between, their elder son ‘Tu-mon’ got married in 1976.
the marriage in which appointment and celebrated guests from all over
the country and Assam would have assembled, would have become the
matter of discussion in not only the political-literary circles but
also among the lay man; in that hastily arranged elder son’s marriage,
they were present with their weak bodies ‘wings’ cut off a butterflies
body’, they attended the occasion with a broken heart and gave
blessings with moist eyes. Still, they welcomed the bride with great
love, forgetting their own pain. Baruah was extremely happy to see the
Amidst these pain and sufferings, the Guwahati
Sahitya Sabha came had become too weak. It was a pathetic sight to
watch talkative Baruah becoming so silent. On the day of conferring
the honors, in the presence of celebrated guests as Neelmoni Phukan
(niece), Atul Chandra Hazarika, and others, Mrs. Baruah stood like a
shadow by the side of her husband who had lost the ability to speak.
Baruah’s silent gaze on his wife spoke many words to Anu Baruah.
As requested by the literary journal ‘Mur Dekh’ (My
Country) to write about ‘Mur Monor Manuh Jonor Kotha’ (The story of
the person of my heart) for its Hem Baruah edition, Mrs. Baruah stated
that she had no physical or mental health left to write an article,
and further adds- ‘The past days appear like a fantasy today, the
people who do not know us or keep on lying in the sickly mats. I
recollect the by gone days looking at his face. This same man had
accomplished so many things in the past life. This thought hunts my
heart, and fills it with pain’. The heart questions itself, "Why did
it all happen? How did it happen? In other place she writes, "Today, I
struggle with the harsh realty of life, struggle with disease, only
struggle. I do not understand where it will end. Is there no end to
our long night of sorrow? This is not seemed to be letter but an
incessant flow of Mrs. Baruah’s tears. Can there be a more compelling
or heart touching piece of writing than this? Life is also a
literature. The life of Mrs. Baruah is a heart rending story of end of
happiness, property, joy, pain and loss in life.
Mrs. Anu Baruah was always the centre of Mrs. Hem
Baruah’s every achievement. Every day, in the afternoon and evening,
she would take note of her husband’s article. She would copy the
manuscripts for him. The handwriting of Mrs. Baruah is very beautiful.
Even today her writing with the almost inactive hand can astonish the
onlooker. Hem Baruah, himself said his wife, ‘I feel strengthened when
you are around’. This lady, besides being the source of his strength
and inspiration, was also an object of his respect.
The last rays of hope also ended in that fateful
day- when, if not unexpected but unwontedly that final sorrow befell
on Mrs. Anu Baruah. Refuting all treatment and care, her husband
closed his eyes in eternal slumber. It was 9th of April,
1977. Grief- stricken and divested, she did not lose patience. As her
husband’s half- finished responsiblity are to be completed. Acting as
a shadow to her husband and providing him support and strength now
after the death of her husband, it seemed as if he gave her strength
and will power invisibly. It reminds of those famous lines from a
‘At the end, I request you only one thing,
These two boys of ours, never ever
Let them feel the absence of their father.
Tell them one thing only,
The death which enlivens ten people,
That death is immortal like soul.’
This immortal soul gave her courage. She went on
performing her duties though her heart was field with hollowness.
Keeping aside her health conditions, she organized her husband’s books
and letters. She got her younger son married. Taking inspiration from
the soul inside her heart, she once again, held pen in her hands.
Disease, the weakening hand would often slow down but could never stop
her hands. She compiled the poems of her husband, and gave it the
shape of a book. ---- ‘Hem Baruah Kobita (Poems of Hem Baruah). She
also managed to write some two there articles which has been published
in some newspapers recently. In spite of working like a machine, the
sadness underlying her heart agonize her every moment. At this time,
many admirers’ people advised her to write on Mrs. Baruah. She begins
to write – ‘Hem Baruah! The person I know’. Those force of unspoken
feelings, at the touch of the pen, tried to break the tide. Her lax
hand would stop from time to time but heart would never want to stop.
Like old days, she would get up early in the morning, and sit down in
the reading table. Although her husband was not sitting nearby with a
book, her heart could always feel his presence.
She went on writing with brief pauses. All the pent
up emotions of her heart, the respect and devotion, the lively
memories found expression in her writing. Due to ill health, the pace
of her writing was slow. After almost one year, her book for only was
released in published form. One who reads this book for only once will
understand the factual historical details outpouring in the writings
of wise, studious Mrs. Baruah. The man I know’ falls in which genre of
literature, biography or novel? I think, even if it is considered as a
biography, it is actually a novel set in a real characters….. In my
view, the writer Hem Baruah has grown with this work". The artist Shri
Jugal Das had written: Finished reading Hem Baruah: The man I know’ in
While going to Delhi to attend an official
exhibition, I felt proud and exalted to hear the praises of Baruah
from two non- Assamese ladies. A question arose in mind on reading
‘Hem Baruah’- who is important? Hem Baruah or Anu Baruah? Beautiful
setting, beautiful reviews. I pay my respect". The writer Shri
Birendra Kumar Bhattachariya has written: "On reading your ‘Hem Baruah
: The man I know", I had the feeling of meeting him personally. The
task you have accomplished with a sickly boy: I feel proud of it".
The writer Shri Munin Borkotoky comments: "……Your
book has made my heart heavy. The scenes of Jorhat, Guwahati, Delhi,
arise in the mirror of heart. Can there be anything more aggrieving
than the thought the by- gone days would never come back again? I
enjoyed reading the book". Shri Jogendra Narayan Goswami wrote from
Jamuguri, Sonitpur: "… A true wife’s writing for her husband has
become successful’. The fact- laden book is filled with the echoes of
a wife’s sad heart…. As the wife of a national figure of the first
rank, and writer of the first rank, you have acquired a lot of
experience. Those experiences will help in enriching your writings.
Only then you will find peace’. Thus Anu Baruah received praise and
recognition from many people.
Every lover of literature knows the contribution of
this great, extremely talented woman- Mrs. Anu Baruah to Assamese
literature. Had she been physically sound, we would have been
benefited with more valuable literary works. Confined to the four
walls of her room for ten or fifteen years now, with a paralyzed body,
the creativity displayed by her is a matter of pride for all of us.
Especially she is source of inspiration and courage
for all the women writers. The speech given by her in an interview to
Guwahati, Doordarshan, and again, in the felicitation ceremony
organized by Women Writers Association of Guwahati, were so inspiring
for all literary fans, that must have been realized by all the
May God bless Mrs. Baruah with a sound health so
that she can contribute many more valuable books to Assamese
literature? This is our prayer.